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$1,000,000 in Pennies in New York City

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If you visit Rockefeller Center in New York before the end of the year, you’ll see an “art installation” consisting of $1,000,000 in one-cent coins.

Silda Wall Spitzer, the wife of Gov. Eliot Spitzer, joined more than 300 elementary and middle school students from New York to unveil the “Penny Harvest Field,” an exhibition featuring an estimated 100 million pennies, most of them collected by children, between Oct. 22 and Thanksgiving.

Pennies at Rockefeller Center

Here’s a better look, courtesy of Common Cents, an organization that helps young people become philanthropists.

A serious coin collector wouldn’t mind spending hours sifting through these coins for the chance to come upon a rarity. Instead, the cents will go back to the students and teachers who contributed them. They will choose the charities to be recipients of the funds, presumably in the form of checks rather than bags of cents.

Making Cents, for Children, at Rockefeller Center [New York Times]

Updated September 4, 2016 and originally published December 11, 2007.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar 1 Anonymous

It’s beautiful. And it’s inspiring–pennies can actually be worth something. Little bits add up. Etc.

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avatar 2 Anonymous

Anybody else look at that and want to go swimming in it like in the cartoons?

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avatar 3 Anonymous

Think about how much interest those pennies could be earning if it were invested or saved before being donated to charity. The interest/returns foregone might be worth it if people do learn more about the value of money or if the charity gets increased press coverage.

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avatar 4 Anonymous

I think that is simply amazing. I am impressed!

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avatar 5 Anonymous

1,000,000 pennies or $1,000,000 in pennies? There is a sizable difference!

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avatar 6 Anonymous

I think it is just fascinating…..I TOTALLY would want to go swimming in that!!

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